Sunday, 22 April 2018

Hal of a battle


AAR of the fictional Battle at the town of Hal occurring during the second day of the 100.5 Days campaign.

[A game scenario created by the map moves based upon the Waterloo Campaign by myself and DaveB who commands the French strategically and offers grand tactical advice for my solo play.]


In a bid to take Brussels, Grouchy was ordered to force march to the town of Hal, defeat or make retreat the small force there and thereby open the road to that key city.

The hard march took a toll on Vandamme’s infantry as he had a large number fall out on the way,  finally reached Hal late on Day 1 of the campaign too late to engage but allowed him a long look at the defences.  Only the hill to the east was the break in the otherwise flat bare terrain around the town.

A French officer questioned a local and he reports "there is only soldiers wearing skirts in the town” and it was noted in the fading light, camp fires behind the town, some British along the river but no masses of horsemen.

The town of Hal was on the north side of the river which could be only crossed by three bridge close to one another.  This would channel the French attacks and negate Exelman’s corps of dragoons until the town was cleared by the infantry at which point they could pursue the retreating Allies.
Eagle's eye view of the Allies deployment. The elements touching the buildings are considered within, the others are in reserve. 

Grouchy as overall commander ordered that the artillery deploy close as to pound the forces arrayed and defending Hal.  Exelman’s horse artillery was stripped from him to help while his horse was moved to the northwest and be in position to pursue the Allies once pried out of the houses.
The French deployment.  Exelman's cavalry are moving to the west while the French "grand battery' of guns are limbered concentrated in the middle of the two columns of d'Erlon's infantry to cross the two nearest bridges to take the town.

The Allies, as noted, were small in number, but Wellington, while shifting the bulk of his forces west to counter the French moves to Ghent, left this road block to Brussels.  It consisted of the elite of his forces: Picton’s Division of Highlanders and Cooke’s Foot Guards.  Along with a brigade of Hanoverian militia and a few batteries of foot guns, they would need to halt Grouchy’s attack.

Gordon commander of his Highlanders wondered aloud if sitting in the town would just allow the French artillery to pound them until they collapsed but Wellington responded “Cant be helped.  To abandon would just allow the French dragoons to force us in square and await the artillery and infantry to destroy us further down the road. No, Gordon, we shall stay.” He mused to himself that the town will mitigate much of their artillery fire.  They can’t sit there all day and the French must attack us at some point.  Grouchy will follow his orders as he always does.
Gordon, taking the silence to mean a rebuke blurted “Och Aye, we must plant ourselves here”.  Wellington, slowly taking himself out of his thoughts, replied “If there is anything of which I do not know, it is agriculture”

Upon seeing the masses of French marching toward him, he ironically waved his hat in salute.
Wellington waves his hat at the oncoming French and Gordon looks on.

Led by the Swiss of Habert's Division and followed by Defol’s determined soldiers, the assault of Hal began while the other three divisions of Vandamme’s command would attack over the wood bridge further to the west.  The artillery was ordered to be concentrated in the centre near the town.  This limbered artillery offered a good target for the British guns positions east of the town and some batteries were wrecked but the toll could have been worse (my die rolling helped!)
Once in position the combined French guns pounded the town but, as Wellington, suspected, not many Highlanders holding this eastern potion of the town were made casualties.
The French columns advance!
The wheels indicate the artillery elements are limbered and moving. (Actual limber teams would create too large a footprint on the table)

Wellington, decided despite the potential artillery fire, to fight the oncoming French Swiss in the open before the bridge and deployed the Gordon’s outside the town quickly regaining their disorder by use of his additional command points.  The Swiss crossed the bridge but bounced off the Highlanders but the Scots were now forced to countercharge or be exposed to the massed French artillery.  While again successful the Gordon’s were now a spent force.  Despite the loss of the Gordons, some third of his meagre force, Picton’s corps morale held.
The moment of combat between Pack's Brigade represented by the Gordon's and a brigade from Habert's division

At noon, a bit of a lull in the fighting as the French redeployed moving back weakened elements and moving the second column onto the middle bridge.  An hour later, now in position, both columns attacked the eastern portion of town.  The Cameron Highlanders now defending, were caught up in a hard fight with no advantage to each side.  (the continual ties in combat die rolls quickly wore down both sides!)

The French artillery, now devoid of targets broke up the ‘grand battery’ moving east and west to find new targets.

With the elimination of the Camerons, Picton decided to commit his Hanoverians in a last bid to retake the eastern portion of the town before they would be destroyed by French artillery in any event.  The attack would take itself but more importantly one of the brigades of Vandamme’s corps forcing a morale check.  Unknown to Picton, Wellington had ordered the supporting 1st Foot Guards to charge the exiting victorious but weak brigade of Bethezin’s division.  The combat was one sided and the French quickly ran (8 to 4 numbers!) but Wellington’s hoped for French collapse did not occur so the battle would continue into the darkening hours.  He was determined to hold to the last musket ball if at all possible; Brussels and the campaign was at stake!
Picton looks on as the British artillery fires OVER the Hanoverians

The last of Picton’s force, his artillery, was destroyed by the French firepower across the river.  Picton’s tophat was plucked off his head by one 8 pounder ball….
In the western portion of the town, the 2nd Foot Guards fought hard to hold the town and lost most of its strength but held on against determined French efforts during this thirteen hour struggle. (played comfortably in a short evening’s time, mind you)
Both sides were forced to assess their chances....via the rule's corps morale chart!   Vandamme’s infantry could not continue any attacks, its losses too great but the British still could hold thus giving Wellington his victory
He muttered to himself, “ That was a very near run thing”
Dusk and the end of the action
death of a popular officer

In game terms, the French lost 5 or 7 infantry elements, the Allies their two elite Highland units, and the Hanoverian element. The 2nd Foot Guards were down 70%.  While Exelman’s Cavalry Corps was not engaged, it could do little further damage and would not attack the town.
The only force with any military value were the 1st FG but they were enough to close the door to the French taking Brussels this day.

Hal of a game, that!
a Guardman gives the finger(s) to the French

Saturday, 14 April 2018

RCW action at the club

DennisC brought out his 20mm Russian Civil War collection for a rare go of it.  I volunteered to help out and frankly play with much of his collection as I had painted much of it quite a few years ago.

Using a simple but sort of frustrating rule set (d10 dice employed with usually needing a 9 or 10 for hits)  which is a 10% chance...and I can not and did not roll many in all the rolls I did this game...
Sigh.

Dennis had me as a Red.  What? a commie bast***d?!  Oh, well.

Hugh, my comrade, had five infantry units and a gun to attack two White units embedded in protective woods and also had to cross rough ground muddy fields (half moves) to get to them and one of our objectives.  He had a tough time of it unfortunately.
Hugh's initial postion on the left, The two White units on the road would quickly seek the protection of the woods behind them.  One of the objectives is the building with the yellow star beside it.

I had a lead of two FT-17 WWI era former French mini tanks and some rather ineffective (as it turned out) mortars to help my three infantry units come from the far right flank to take the hill our other objective.
My contingent with the two tanks leading. The elite Women's Brigade can be seen next to the hill leading the movement of my infantry in that direction while the tanks would continue along the road. My dubious 'artillery support' of mortars are the wagons near the road and rail line.

Yeah, OK I had a train appear with a big gun and another mortar and yet later a band of horsemen but these would start much further from our goals. The train was blocked by debris on the tracks and so could only offer long range fire and with my typical very poor dice rolling, offered little in support.

Apparently during the scenario development, Dennis did not contemplate the tanks taking on a 'blitzkrieg' type operations as I used them to run them up the hill to take that position despite the artillery arrayed.  While 'winning' the game in this lightning strike, it was agreed I would need to bring up some infantry to secure the position.  My poor dice rolling had my units move ever so slowly. (the rules have each unit move a small distance in inches + a d10 dice roll...which I would consistently roll 4 or less each time!) My units moving in a flanking move moved very slowly indeed.... Another few hours of gaming might have brought us that conclusion but the evening was done and so an unlikely very minor victory for the Reds was the result.  
My tanks would continue along the roads and up the hill later in the game and take the White position and their artillery positioned there on. The second yellow objective marker can be barely visible on the far side of the steep hill.


Fortuitous foot cuirassiers....

The old adage "Stop and smell the roses" tells us that we should appreciate good things which can happen on the way.  It is thus, which for this miniatures wargamer, came to create a unit which I really wanted to build and which happened quite quickly at that.  Let me explain these fortuitous events.

A generous donation of Perry plastic dismounted dragoons added, with the few I had collected,  allowed me to create a nice contingent   (see my post at: link  )

Having just completed this contingent (it was still drying on the painting table!), I was flicking through my reference book and stumbled on an image of a dismounted cuirassier.  I love the look of a French cuirassier - probably developed in my very early years and which sent me in the direction of Napoleonics to begin with - and so I almost contemplated repainting that which I had just done. But reason prevailed.

I was to leave it at that but fate intervened.  Very shortly after, and out of the blue, another wargaming buddy gave me his 8 Perry dismounted dragoons! (Thanks Dave!!)  This would now allow me to create my dream of foot cuirassiers!
The dismounted cuirassiers of the 8th Regiment 

The modelling was not that difficult, being plastics and all. The dragoons lapels were scraped off to produce the cuirassier's single breasted tunic and the helmets could be used with the appropriate paint scheme. However the dragoons arms supplied could not be used being without the necessary fringed epaulettes.  So I used spare cuirassier arms and removed the cuirass frill, for sword in hand, or used spare Victrix arms with the fringed epaulettes and cuff flaps for those troopers not wearing gloves and armed with muskets or carbines; or created them with attached epaulettes as required.  Yeah, OK at three hours it was long but immensely fun (for me it was fun, for others...perhaps not so).  To top it off, in the parts bin I found a cuirassed torso so I would chop one of the walking poses in half to attach the cuirass to the legs leaving in place the tunics turnbacks which fit remarkably well.  I claim to have a steady expert hand in the cutting but probably I was just lucky and thankful the Perrys are very good in keeping all their figures in scale......  Thus I am able to have one of the trooper continue to wear the beautiful armour in all its glory.
the trooper still wearing his cuirass can be seen in the middle of the formation

As my dragoons have red facings, I gave the cuirassiers a contrasting yellow regimental distinction.  The cuff flaps, usually hidden under the large leather gloves, are now on display showing that these foot sloggers are from the 8th regiment.
the group's command is mounted on the right.  The bigger "big man" is the bicorne wearing horseman on the left

Hmm, were the 8th in Russia during the fateful 1812 campaign?  This long invasion of Russia caused such attrition in horseflesh that it was said whole formations became foot bound even before the snows started falling.  This would be the rationale for the cuirassiers ever to contemplate abandoning their mounts in action. (to answer: yes they were and so the setting of any of the games with these blokes)

At this point I don't really have a ruleset in mind for the collection but for most sets one does need command figures so I decided to re-purpose the only plastic General I have for my other Napoleonic collection; itself an conversion by me, and made him my potential overall "Big Man" and his accompanying trooper, as the leader of this cuirassier troop.  As I had, as fortune again would have it, acquired two more cuirass wearing officers in metal recently, these were 'promoted' to Generals to replace the plastic version added to this all-plastic collection. (the unity of grouping and Virgo-ness in me I guess)

Whether I will acquire yet more is for the future; but it is fun to have a very unique collection.




Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Battle at Leuze (fictional)


The Battle of Leuze
during the 100.5 Days Campaign
(fictional)

A gasping courier galloped up to Uxbridge as he and Cole, who commanded Hanoverian militia and the elite 27th Foot, stared at the masses of French arraigned against them.
Uxbridge did not need to read the couriers note. The French had crossed the border to start the campaign and this would be the first battle.
He turned to his aide, "Please tell The Duke that a corps of heavy cavalry followed by at least a corps of French infantry are making to Leuze.  We cannot stop them and will retire north but they are upon us.  We shall de everything to delay them and protect the baggage.  Go now!"
To Cole he said, "I shall be needing your artillery assets.  The horse artillery may prove useful. Hold as long as possible then retire.  Hopefully my boys will hold the Frenchies for a while."
Cole just nodded and moved away to get things moving.......

***

Wanting to run through our miniatures rules for the upcoming convention game and, frankly, to give myself some interesting solo games, I asked DaveB to be ‘the other player’ for the strategic maneuvers to generate the scenarios. We using the block game of “Napoleon” by Columbia Games [based on the famous 100 Days Campaign in modern Belgium which produced a few large battles including the biggie of Waterloo] which DaveB introduced to me a few years ago. As it is only between the two of us, and he is in a distant city, we both know it will be a genteel affair with moves done when we can.

After some minor sorting out of the campaign rules, maneuver conditions and overall concept, Dave as L’Empereur made the opening moves concentrating his forces in the east against the Prussians and advancing upon the foremost of the Allied forces at Leuze on the way to Ghent held by the British light cavalry under Uxbridge and the infantry division of Cole represented by the Inniskillen Regiment and Hanoverian Militia.
French commander Kellerman once again urges his heavy cavalry forward

 The French were led by Kellerman’s Heavy Cavalry Corps followed closely by d’Erlons Infantry Corps thus heavily outnumbering the Allied units.  Seeing these numbers, the Allies quickly decided to retire northward using their light horse to slow the advance in order to get the baggage onto the road north.
French deployment somewhat hampered by the woods and small village to each side
The Allies deployment.  Cole's command had to deal with the wagons which needed to be moved and protected

Dave indicated that he wanted to cause disruption and capture baggage etc so I added three wagons to Cole’s command (without the additional command PiPs!) to add to the difficulties of the British withdrawal as the rules do a poor job simulating this aspect of a battle - not having been designed for this level of the battle
The Allied commander Cole trying to direct traffic.  the small green flag is a step-down indicator for his command's morale.

Uxbridge as a senior commander requisitioned Cole’s artillery, being handy horse artillery, to be attached to the light horse and deployed in a rough semi-circle to face the heavies of Kellerman.
While 4 elements of light horse might be equals to the three elements of the French heavies, d’Erlon pushed forward his light horse lancers to help.

Aside: As the game map is not detailed, for the scenarios, I would dice for tabletop terrain with each square foot having a slight possibility of having woods or a small village decorating the battlefield.  In this case, a woods and a small village would funnel the French to a narrow frontage. 

It was up to the French heavies to clear the way for the following infantry to advance.  To counter this, Dornberg’s brigade represented by the 2nd KGL Light Dragoons, immediately attacked the Carabiniers protecting the Royal Horse Artillery which did good service of weakening the other French heavy horse.  A few minutes later the battery will come under attack by the 11th Cuirassiers in fine style. The 11th would do sterling work this day but at what cost for the campaign....
The 11th Cuirassiers overrunning the RHA rocket battery.  Their charges will no doubt be the subject of glorious paintings in the future but cost them a great deal of strength for the rest of the campaign.

Meanwhile Cole was not doing well organizing the retreat (he rolled 1 twice consecutively for command activation!)

In further action in the open fields before Leuze, the fatigued 11th French cuirassiers (rated heavies despite having no cuirass as historically they were not armoured during the campaign) held off a flanking attack by the British 7th Hussars (rolling 3 vs 0 in combat!).
This remarkable result had the 7th fall back into the path of the French Lancers who damaged them in their own flanking attack!

Uxbridge’s command with the loss of half his numbers fell back as a result of command morale, which ironically helped his tactical situation.  Kellerman, in contrast, while also having large losses, was not fazed in his determination (rolling a 6!) and continued to press.  However, his troopers, were close to collapse having few combat efforts left in them most down to only 1 left in their combat rolls.
The advance by d'Erlon's infantry was steady but they did not engage the quickly retreating Allies.

With a temporary separation and finally getting organized (rolling a 6 for command PiPs….) Cole, somewhat jingoistically, had the elite 27th Foot (Inniskillens) about face and race north.  The Hanoverians having been in square with the French heavies about, were later order to retreat north but were caught by the 11th Cuirassiers and decimated.
The bulk of the British baggage had escaped however and the French heavies had some losses with two of the brigades having substantial losses.   d’Erlon’s corps had not entered the action except in a support role for the horse.  One element of foot artillery however managed to deploy and after a round of concentrated fire, caused substantial combat loss to the 18th Hussars which were the only British untouched element up to that point; at which Uxbridge had all units retreat.  With Kellerman’s horsemen exhausted and the following infantry unable to advance faster, the battle came to a close in the late afternoon.
The British in retreat.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Sharp Practice trial test


In a tiny village somewhere in Russia during the year 1812.....
My dismounted French 5th Dragoons - plastic Perry plastics with some minor conversions.  
One well-known rules which I have never played is the Two Fat Lardies “Sharp Practice”.  A couple of weeks ago, WillB offered to introduce in a game between his Russian Jagers and my newly painted never-yet-on-the-table dismounted French Dragoons.

Interesting mechanics but not much of way of tactics as we plowed through the elementary rules for only a few turns.  Definitely a small unit game.  The card/chit pulls and frequency are very important.  Not really enough time to make an assessment so more play is needed but they could be useful for other periods.

The 'grave marker' is showing one level of "shock".  WillB's Russian jagers inhabit my new church model in the distance.
The 'Big Man' (lower right) directing the elite section of the dragoons forward. 
Nice to see my newbies on the table, nevertheless, along with the recently constructed Russian church.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Zulu using TMWWBK

The British camp defence. The British rifles in line provided huge firepower.  The NNC, with their red rags around the heads for identification,  provided additional firepower....well a bit anyway and luckily were not challenged in combat.  


Having just looked at my 15mm Zulu War collection the previous day when the call went out to host a game I thought of using them - they have been in the boxes much too long!  Hmm, using which rules?  Having played “The Men Who Would Be Kings” recently I figured I could guide everyone through and as JimF also joined, he could help.  Actually the first time using tribal forces by any of us (and it showed!) .

 I took the roll of the Zulu in my recreation of the famous Battle of Isandhlwana so I wanted the British players awed by the numbers facing them. They were not; despite having painted and based the remaining 96 I had yet to do, during the previous day. This ultimately gave the Zulu 6 impi/units with 48 figures each.  Actually not as impressive as it might sound as TMWWBK has the British infantry unit at 12 figures and a tribal at 16.  My 48 still represents the 16 strong tribal unit but in bases rather than individual figures; but the look on the table does somewhat display the historical strength disparity in this battle.
The 'historical attack' of the Zulu upon the British at the mountain of Isandhlwana.
While having appealing mass, still represents the 16 suggested by the rules.

I was discouraged almost immediately by my poor activation rolls for the Left Horn which did not get the order to advance apparently. Wrong side of the hill from the rest?  But the other impis were soon advancing at the double toward the British lines.

Francis commanding half the British which included the Natal Light Horse and he had them scout the plateau then do a sneaky move to go between two Impi,  which had left a gap, to move into the rear hoping to distract them (me) from advancing further.  I ignored that move and managed to move into contact of the left flank British company destroying half of that formation but excellent dice rolling by Jim (six of the twelve dice were 6s!) had my boys bounce off.  That was the closest the Zulu would get to any victory.  The overwhelming firepower by the British would not allow the Zulu to make contact despite their excellent discipline.
The excellent 'leadership' bonus of the elite modifier and my decent die rolling, had the Zulu arrive this far...they will however be shot up soon.....

The Left Horn finally came into range but by then the other units were spent.  In the post battle analysis, my advance without waiting for the Left Horn units was criticized as not timing the attack to arrive together. Probably correct. Using “Go To Ground” activation might have saved those units of ‘the Loin’ shot up, for later.  Also we started to talk of tactics (!) like using one unit in line to soak up hits as others come behind still fresh.  I set up my units as per the historical model and the usual Zulu way, but food for thought.  
only 5 of 16 left but my die rolls their bravery and discipline keep them in the battle.

While using 15mm figures, we made no changes to the rules including that of distances so using inches.  The Zulus with the extra d6 of movement and my unusually good activation die rolls for most of the game had them moving rapidly…into the rifle fire…. and defeat. History not repeated.




Monday, 5 March 2018

Westphalian 2nd Cuirassiers



the element of the 2nd Westphalian Cuirassiers 

The 2nd Westphalian Cuirassiers created in 1810 followed the Grande Armee into the depths of Russia during Napoleon’s ill-fated 1812 campaign from which few survived and the unit was never reestablished.  While historically limited to only one campaign, however the unit has an interesting uniform which I could make out of some spare plastic bits from a larger trade I made recently.  Among the trade items was plastic Perry models still on the one sprue but missing some bits.  A look into my parts-bin replaced some of the missing arms and equipment, etc.  The helmets are really the only difference from the French version and minor at that;  so I could easily remove the French horsehair and greenstuff the appropriate woollen comb of the Westphalians.  The only other major difference having the saddle cloth in the regimental orange. (for the French it was dark blue)

For the rivet counters: The 1st Westphalian Cuirassiers wore white but had only a frontal cuirass but no back plate.  And no, I will not want to try to scrape away the back to make that particular unit. One unit of Westphalian cuirassiers is plenty, thank you.



a wargamer's aside:
What was the worst order in military history?
In First Place:
" Lord Raglan wishes the Light Brigade to advance rapidly to the front...."
and in Second Place:
"Hello, MegloMiniatures? I would like to purchase 182 packs of...."

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

The Onion Dome Drawer Knob.....




I wanted to have a Russian church to match the meagre village houses I previously made and finally found an design example which could fit upon the small bases I require.  So unlike the previous MDF buildings I started with a foamcore frame.  Took an evening (Ok to be honest, a very long evening and into the early morning) to finish the structure and wood walls.


The onion dome is the quintessential look of the Russian Orthodox church.  Mine is a wooden drawer knob taken from a cabinet. (Geez, I hope the wife doesn’t notice!). The dome shape was built up with a bit of harden clay holding a makeshift balsa wood cross.


Overheard during a wargame:
"A quick game is a good game. Done, over, get over to the pub for beer and talk about it for three hours."




Monday, 26 February 2018

"enhancing" the MDF



Now being what might be described as a ‘veteran wargamer’ I still carry the old thinking that one has no other option than to scratch-build most or all of the required terrain for the painted toy soldiers to play within as we had to do decades ago.  But the proliferation of MDF building packs has eliminated the requirement to start making model buildings from the framing onward.  Heck most MDF models are even ‘pre-painted’ allowing the wargamer to quickly build and simply place on the table, yet  some are still very basic indeed.  I found a pack of these during the local hobby store’s sales and while still expensive compared to what you get I still purchased deciding I could enhance these.
the pictures at least do not cover up the fact these are VERY basic indeed.....


Now when I say basic, it is very basic and the purchaser must do much to make it even look the part.  The door is just a laser cut of the wall as are the windows.  The frames of those do have some nice decoration (most incongruent given the simplistic bareness of the model).
That being said, it IS an empty canvas as the saying goes, and so I could pencil on the outlines of the support beams and make it look like the ‘pimped-up’ 4Ground Tutor style building I created recently as can be seen in the first photo.

Here is the before and after shots:
the very basic building, before....
....and after 


I included railroad plastic windows, rearranged the door to be shifted back into the model and gave it a thin card (cereal box) tiled roof.  The woodwork and cracked lines are merely painted on.
So really, it is mostly scratch-build with only the MDF forming a sturdy and squared frame to utilize.

Using the experience from the first of the two identical models in the package, with the second I have drawn a different pattern of support beams and will probably put a thatch roof to vary the look.

I'll probably end up with a whole town of these MDF buildings


An aside:
Heard a conversation at the club.  The one member asked the other "Why don't more members go to the Annual General Meeting?"  "Probably", suggests the other, "they don't want to risk the chance they might be elected to the Board."

Saturday, 3 February 2018

The Engagement at Bombuko Mission House


The Engagement at Bombuko Mission House Feb 2, 1917

JimF offered to host at the Trumpeter’s club’s monthly GameNight to have his nicely painted Belgian Force Publique vs my French Foreign Legion….


Dear Mere,

It is your son, the legionnaire ,  writing again about my latest action. Of the preamble, mine is not to reason why, but to do or die; and so we of the Legion are to advance a great distance to a place to gather some gold but it is that our elite but small force must engage a larger for of Force Publique in dense terrain somewhere in Africa.
somewhere in Africa....

As we must advance, we brought our new artillery.  The colonel did some “horse trading” and sold the original 75 gun gained with the crew and now is using other model.  The colonel says “it looks better the part”.  Whatever.  It was useful in causing many casualties on the nearest blue clad Belgian askari unit.  But throughout the battle it would be slow to move into position.
the new artillery piece (a Reveresco British Howitzer)

To the right, the second company came under long range rifle plus machine gun fire and rapidly were decimated and soon were hor-de-combat. For our part, we also had too many bullets coming our way and loses building.  Only our superior discipline had us still in the fight.

Editor’s Note:  the plus 2 really helps on the dice rolls!
Jim's rather nice FP (Foundry Figures)

But nevertheless we needed to move into a thicket to offer some protection. All thought of advance quickly forgotten.  Captain Premiermont was extorting us with “Think of France! Think of France! when a bullet struck him down.
Pressure from the right

from early in the battle, Captain Premiermort in on the right.  

Editor’s Note: Yes, once again I rolled double ones for Leader Killed.  But heck with six different rolls of a total of only three on two dice rolled at various times during the game as an indication it was enviable. 

The Artillery having ever so slowly moving at only 4 inches a turn, finally engaged far targets and doing some good but the askari to our right were now putting us under heavy fire.  Again, our discipline kept us together, however, with only three of us remaining we were pinned and finally forced to retreat into the open.  The end was nigh.  As I write this last passage I hope tha…….
The end of the Legion.

——————————

Jim’s use of rubber terrain pieces and plastic aquarium plants was fairly effective.  The heavy vegetation did not help either side as the dominance of rifles and modern firepower.  The The Men Who Would Be Kings rules are as we came to understand are not designed for two equally modern armed to have a good game.  Well, OK, maybe good for August 1914 in northern France at the start of WW1 when such conditions helped establish the building of trenches.  In that case, as our game demonstrated in the choices during the game made by Jim and myself, advancing is impossible thus doomed and defensive cover required to survive. Long range artillery is needed and more troops required for any attack.  So in many ways this game was very much like the early battles of WW1 when 200,000 casualties occurred in the first month; but a “classical colonial” game is was not.